MIDLOTHIAN — The Navarro College Ellis County campuses held their 9th annual Commencement Ceremony last Saturday, May 6 in the Midlothian Indoor Arena. This was the largest ceremony to date with 282 participating. In addition, there were 131, a record number, of high school seniors who earned their Navarro College Associate Degree before graduating from their high school.

With all the graduates, there was a capacity crowd and the overflow area was utilized to accommodate additional family and friends. James McAllister and Rachel Ussery gave outstanding commencement speeches during the ceremony.

Born on December 2nd, 1998 in Little Rock, Rachel Ussery and her family moved to Ellis County in 2006. She attended Midlothian ISD until 2013 when she transferred to Waxahachie Global High School and began working on her associate degree as a dual credit student.

Ussery found her Navarro College dual credit biology class with Professor Nguyen to be most engaging and enjoyable. Ussery has served as an executive officer for Robotics Team 2805, the yearbook, and student government. She has participated in six mission trips to share the story of Christ, mentored elementary school students, maintained a photography business, and produced a short film.

Ussery plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Film and Television at Savannah College of Art and Design. She hopes to explore unique viewpoints, document the complexities of life, and provide a space for filmmakers who seek to use film to make the world a better place.

There were several scholarship recipients were recognized during the ceremony including James McAllister and Martha Padron who both received the Graduate M.C. and Mattie Caston Scholarship.